October 19, 2023 3 min read


Ten Wild Cats Found at Deceased Magician Dirk Arthur’s Ranch

Clark County’s Animal Protection Services have announced the removal of a number of wild cats from dead magician Dirk Arthur’s ranch

Earlier this week, officials at Westgate Las Vegas confirmed the passing of magician Dirk Arthur. The 63-year-old Vegas magician was the last magician to use wild animals in a magic show in Sin City. The cause of his death is still under investigation.

A Cark Country representative confirmed for KLAS-TV/Las Vegas that the Animal Protection Services removed 10 wild cats from the magician’ ranch located south of the Strip, next to the Silverton Casino

Tigers, Leopards and a Bobcat to Receive a New Home 

During the investigation at the scene, the authorities discovered one bobcat, six tigers, a snow leopard, and two clouded leopards. At the moment, all animals are in the process of being sent to “an appropriate animal sanctuary.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the popular organization that exposes animals suffering in the entertainment industry, the clothing trade, testing laboratories, and the food industry, was quick to issue an official statement after news of Dirk’s passing was made public. 

Using the voice of its director of captive animal welfare, Debbie Metzler, PETA called for all exotic cats that survived the magician to be sent to accredited sanctuaries and given plenty of “space to roam, opportunities to swim and climb, and freedom from stage lights and filthy cages at last.”

The magician’s “Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic” debut show was first held in 1997 in “Jubilee” at Bally’s, followed by subsequent performances at popular casino resorts including the Silverton, O’Sheas, Harrah’s in Reno and Laughlin, Plaza, Tropicana, and the Riviera, just a few months prior to the closing of the hotel in 2015.

“Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions” was the last official wild cat show ever to be staged on the Strip, as these shows exploiting exotic animals were ushered out from Las Vegas as a result of the numerous protests from animal rights activists as well as the tragic Siegfried and Roy on-stage accident

The Magician Was Planning a Big Comeback

Up until the summer of 2022, Dirk had big plans to reintroduce big cat shows to the Vegas public. He had kept at least 10 of his wild cats in a private zoo in a habitat spreading across one acre west of the Strip. The costly ordeal forced him to pay up to $150,000 each year. 

Nonetheless, his bold plans for “Magic Unleashed”, the name of the brand new animal show he had envisioned, were shattered when a number of animal activists bombarded the owner of the Notoriety Live Theater, the place that was supposed to host it. 

As a result of the roughly 400 emails received, the show was eventually canceled, forcing Dirk to desperately take on an usher job at the Westgate Las Vegas, the last place where he held his shows as headlines. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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